In an historic speech, Saudi King Abdullah announced on Sunday he was giving women the right to vote and run in municipal elections. The monarch also announced that women would have the right to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council.
"Starting with the next term, women will have the right to run in municipal elections and to choose candidates, according to Islamic principles," he said, according to AFP. "We have decided that women will participate in the Shura Council as members starting the next term," the king also stated.
More than 5,000 men will compete in Thursday's municipal elections, only the second in Saudi Arabia's history, to fill half the seats in the kingdom's 285 municipal councils.